The Great Contraction, 1929-1933

Narrated by: A. C. Fellner
Length: 8 hrs and 48 mins
Categories: Money & Finance, Economics
4.0 out of 5 stars (61 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Friedman and Schwartz's A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960, published in 1963, stands as one of the most influential economics books of the 20th century. A landmark achievement, the book marshaled massive historical data and sharp analytics to support the claim that monetary policy--steady control of the money supply--matters profoundly in the management of the nation's economy, especially in navigating serious economic fluctuations. The chapter entitled "The Great Contraction, 1929-33" addressed the central economic event of the century, the Great Depression.

Published as a stand-alone paperback in 1965, The Great Contraction, 1929-1933 argued that the Federal Reserve could have stemmed the severity of the Depression, but failed to exercise its role of managing the monetary system and ameliorating banking panics. The book served as a clarion call to the monetarist school of thought by emphasizing the importance of the money supply in the functioning of the economy--a concept that has come to inform the actions of central banks worldwide.

This edition of the original text includes a new preface by Anna Jacobson Schwartz, as well as a new introduction by the economist Peter Bernstein. It also includes comments from the current Federal Reserve chairman, Ben Bernanke, originally made on the occasion of Milton Friedman's 90th birthday, on the enduring influence of Friedman and Schwartz's work and vision.

©2008 Milton Friedman (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Great Contraction, 1929-1933

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Had to Stop Listening

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

This book may be great for one economist to understand another. My problem is that I'm not coming from the perspective of a 4th year economics major. The terms and tone are not for the lay person trying to understand general economic principles.

I was hoping for something more in line with

2 people found this helpful

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Very factual, but not exactly a page turner!

Is there anything you would change about this book?

No. It is good for what it is. It could be made more interesting by adding contemporary comparisons, but this would make the book lose its relevance over time.

Did A. C. Fellner do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Not Applicable

Could you see The Great Contraction, 1929-1933 being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

No, no chance!

Any additional comments?

Comparisons to competing Economic theories and practitioners would be interesting too.

1 person found this helpful

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Great Book

I only wish the full A Monetary History of the United States was on audiobook.

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Wait for it...

First half is painful. Second half can start to see the light. Have google ready for some concepts lacking explanation.

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Surprising, but dry.

I was pleased to see that Milton Friedman was not as doctrinaire as some that have followed him. I particularly appreciate many of his arguments in favor of Fed intervention. The follow on piece by Ben Bernanke was good to clarify, or reinforce, arguments made in this book. I know his focus was on Monetary policy, but I missed something about the conditions which might have contributed to many of the phenomenon he wrote about. It seems to be things like bank failures were as much about overall economic conditions as they were about poor policy choices. Interesting, but dry, and filled with jargon.

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A different explanation for the Great Depression.

Would you consider the audio edition of The Great Contraction, 1929-1933 to be better than the print version?

Yes. I tend to fall asleep reading a complicated book.

Who was your favorite character and why?

N/A

What about A. C. Fellner’s performance did you like?

Easily understood.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It was very sad to realize how much hardship for so many was caused by misguided government policies!